Canadian gospel musician, singer and songwriter, Jon Steingard has declared on social media that “I no longer believe in God,” explaining “it didn’t happen overnight.” as he renounce his faith.
The lead vocalist and lead guitarist for the Christian pop-punk band, Hawk Nelson which he joined in October 2004, took to his social media account to share his decision while also revealing that the decision was a long time coming one.
“After growing up in a Christian home, being a pastor’s kid, playing and singing in a Christian band, and having the word ‘Christian’ in front of most of the things in my life – I am now finding that I no longer believe in God,” he said
While also sharing how he had been dealing with disbelief over the past years and how he never thought a day like this would come, he said:
“The last few words of that sentence were hard to write, I still find myself wanting to soften that statement by wording it differently or less specifically – but that wouldn’t be true.
“I’ve agonized over whether to say this publicly, and if so, how to do it, but I now feel that it’s less important how I do it, and more important that I do it, I still find myself wanting to soften that statement by wording it differently or less specifically — but it wouldn’t be as true, It didn’t happen overnight or all of a sudden. It’s been more like pulling on the thread of a sweater, and one day discovering that there was no more sweater left.
“Terrified to be honest about this publicly for quite some time, because of all that I thought I would lose. I simply can no longer avoid it. Processing this quietly felt right when I simply had doubts, but once they solidified into a genuine point of view, it began to feel dishonest not to talk about it.”
He noted that in his conversations with his friends who also grew up in the church, many also share the same doubts.
“I am stunned by the number of people in visible positions within Christian circles that feel the same way as I do. Like me, they fear losing everything if they’re open about it.”
Steingard also stated that church was not a place he had always loved going as a kid but had no choice too due to his father being a pastor. The list of things that didn’t make sense to him kept growing throughout the years, he noted, including the commonly posed question: “If God is all loving, and all powerful, why is there evil in the world? Can he not do anything about it? Does he choose not to?
“Why does he (God) say not to kill, but then instruct Israel to turn around and kill men women and children to take the promised land?” and “Why does Jesus have to die for our sins (more killing again)?”
He also stating that he still very much opened to return to the faith if some of his reasons are well explained.
“I want to be transparent with you all — and also open to having my heart changed in the future. I am not looking for a debate at all — just a chance to share my story in the hopes some good can come from it. I love you all.”
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I’ve been terrified to post this for a while – but it feels like it’s time for me to be honest. I hope this is not the end of the conversation, but the beginning. I hope this is encouraging to people who might feel the same but are as afraid to speak as I am. I want to be open. I want to be transparent with you all – and also open to having my heart changed in the future. I am not looking for a debate at all – just a chance to share my story in the hopes some good can come from it. I love you all.
Steingard while sharing pointed out that he grew up in a Christian home and had put “Christian” before most of all he did. He also shared that church has never been where he liked to go but had to go because at the age, he had no choice. This is the problem of many who grew up in Christian homes but had no encounter.
Theories and stories that you have read is supposed to guide you into the revealed word… to give you an experience.
“You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.” – John 5:39-40 (MSG)
Most build on the faith of their parents, guardian or church community without actually experiencing God themselves. When the vicissitudes of life sets in, one will often discover that the theoretical knowledge of God cannot withstand those challenges – hence the need for the experiential knowledge. No one can argue with what you experience no matter how intelligible the argument is.